show episodes
 
Helping you become a more effective information designer. You want to create effective data visualizations. That’s hard work. There are so many decisions to make, like chart type, annotations, and color! Will this podcast help? Host and fellow data viz designer Alli Torban is in the trenches with you. She shares the latest tools and methods that she’s discovered while on the job and interviewing top designers. If you’re an analyst, journalist, or designer who wants to hone your skills with s ...
 
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show series
 
I walk you through my process for creating a data viz brief and how to use it! If you're interested in a short training and getting a copy of the data viz brief template that I use with my clients, shoot me an email with the subject line "INTERESTED!" and if there's enough interest, I'll host a live training! hello@allitorban.com…
 
When you’re kicking off a data viz project, do you have a series of questions that you ask to uncover the goals, audience, and data? Want to know how to kick it up a notch? I know I do! Recently, I had the pleasure of working with Liz Hatherley, whose whole expertise is wrapped up in pulling this kind of information out of her clients, which has le…
 
Join the Elevate Membership Program! I invited a few of the best dataviz designers and freelancers I know on the show today (Duncan Geere, Gabrielle Merite, and Will Chase) and we absolutely stuffed the hour with as many dataviz freelancing tips as we possibly could! In this episode, we demystify the whole process: starting from when someone emails…
 
Today I’m calling out the biggest things I learned in the past year. There’s just something about naming it that helps me remember to keep doing it in the new year and even how I can take it up a notch in the next year. In this episode, I’ll highlight the three biggest lessons I learned this year, and they all stem from better communication with cl…
 
Have you ever reimagined your tabular data set as a network and discovered new insights? Networks are an obvious choice if you’re visualizing someone’s social network, for example, but there are so many more possibilities! In this episode, Dr. Keita Broadwater will explain what a network is, share a couple of examples of tabular data reimagined as …
 
How do we future-proof our data viz careers? What skills are important now and 10 years from now as software companies come and go and $5 dashboards pop up on Fiverr? In this episode, Dr. Jonathan Schwabish and I talk about what our consultant work looks like right now and how we’re working to future-proof our careers. This is a joint podcast betwe…
 
Have you written off 3D as a big no-no? Not yet! In this episode, Dr. Tyler Morgan-Wall shares his latest innovations and impactful use cases of his Rayshader package in R. Take a listen and be amazed at the samples in the show notes! (you can use Rayshader and R for free!) https://dataviztoday.com/shownotes/67…
 
Have you heard of data sonification? It’s the process of turning data into sound, and there's a novel podcast out now called Loud Numbers where Duncan Geere and Miriam Quick introduce a data story, explain how they sonified it, and then play the sonification they've created. In this episode, we discover how they created their podcast, what’s the be…
 
It’s easy to think you have to be the master at D3 and also have the design eye of an artist in order to have a fulfilling data viz career, but that has not been my experience, nor the experience of my guest today Amanda Makulec who is the Data Visualization Society’s Executive Director. She’s heard her fair share of data viz origin stories, frustr…
 
What can we do to make our data visualizations more accessible to more people, especially those with disabilities? In this episode, Frank Elavsky shares how we can integrate accessibility into our current data visualization workflow. It’s a skill just like anything else, so let’s get practicing! Show notes: https://dataviztoday.com/shownotes/63…
 
Ah, money. The topic everyone wants to hear about but no one wants to talk about! It’s a complicated and nuanced subject because there are so many variables that factor into someone’s compensation, but... In this episode, I’ll share some highlights from the responses in the Data Visualization Society community survey to give you a sense of what dat…
 
What are the ingredients of a successful personal project? How do you even know what topic to make your personal project about? What constraints make for a successful personal project? In this episode, data visualization designers Nadieh Bremer and Shirley Wu share insights they learned from completing a year-long collaboration that ended with a ne…
 
Do you feel lost when you’re creating a chart? Are you feeling around in the dark with every new project? Confidence comes with practice, but you can also take a few smart steps, in the beginning, to create an effective chart. I’ve interviewed top designers for years on my podcast while creating and experimenting on my own, and I’ve found that thes…
 
The last episode of the year! In this episode, I have a little data viz tennis match with fellow podcaster Lea Pica. We found the most inspiring visualizations in four categories: climate change, COVID-19, racial injustice, and the US presidential election. Lea and I bounce back and forth describing our favorite in each category and the mastery on …
 
Have you ever created a successful graphic that really hit the mark and you felt like you were just spot on? Do you know how you can consistently replicate that feeling? If not, I have an idea of what you might be missing... Art direction! In this episode, we'll learn when you need art direction and when you don't, and how to use art direction to m…
 
Have you ever felt frustrated when you're trying to express important data to someone? Do the bars and pies just seem to fall flat? Try turning the data into an experience! In this episode, I try to bottle up Miriam Quick and Stefanie Posavec’s creative genius that they poured into their new book so that we can create data experiences in our work, …
 
Chart legends are so key (ha!) to make your chart understandable, but you need to give it some thought and care. The goals of a good legend: informative and concise It shouldn’t be a puzzle. So how can we enhance the default legend to be more informative and concise without becoming a puzzle? Let’s jump into 3 ways to enhance your legend! Show note…
 
Are you interested in freelancing or consulting in data visualization? Being your own boss as a full-time freelancer has its own set of unique challenges, and of course, many benefits! But from the outside looking in, it’s hard to know where to even start... How do you find clients? How do you know what to offer? How do you reach out and pitch to p…
 
In this episode, Shirley Wu shares the specific things that she looks for in potential collaborators, the steps she took to execute her innovative People of the Pandemic game, and how she overcame her moments of self-doubt under the mounting complexity of creating a game from scratch… Show notes
 
I’ve noticed that many of the really engaging graphics have something in common: really thoughtful annotations. Usually, we think of annotations as a way to communicate context (like the title, subtitle, data labels) or point out outliers or specific events. But what if we thought of annotations as a tool beyond just context. What if we could use a…
 
Happy new year! It's time for goal-setting, right? One small thing you can do throughout the year that will make you a better information designer (and not drive you crazy) is focus on building your data viz toolbox. I've been filling my toolbox over these past 50 episodes, and while I'll never be done filling it, the more I fill it, the easier my …
 
Why do we care about finding the underlying emotion in our project? Because it can help guide us toward visualizing the data in a more meaningful way for our audience. It helps you hone in on their point of view and what they really want. In this bonus episode, I show a quick technique that I learned recently that helps me get to the underlying emo…
 
Have you ever been asked the explain the value of visualizing data? I always jump to “it reveals insights you couldn’t see before!” But while I was at the Data2Dome conference last month, I had a light-bulb moment. Revealing insights is just part of the puzzle… In this episode, I share stories of how the planetarium community is using data to engag…
 
It's no secret that creating two charts to show different views on a data set can be very powerful. But can connecting them somehow make it even more impactful? In this episode, we learn how Mohamad Waked used two charts with a captivating connective tissue to shine a light on a very important issue happening in the world right now. Show notes: www…
 
It’s no secret that some charts lie. You might be thinking that only a subset of people who maliciously create a chart to serve their interests are guilty of this, but the truth is, there are many ways in which a chart can lie. You can make a mistake in your design, or use data that’s insufficient, or make conclusions that aren’t accurate. I’m guil…
 
Having a data viz mentor is a great resource! BUT... One person doesn't need to be everything to you. Maybe building a Board of Directors could be more helpful. I've built a virtual one that has seats for those who inspire me with - Creativity - Technical Skills - Communication - Introspectiveness - Fellow Data Viz Nerdery In this episode, I talk a…
 
Are you struggling with putting together an effective portfolio? I find it hard to know if I'm using my time efficiently. What do I need to include? When is it enough?!? Luckily, Dillon Winspear is here to help. He's reviewed hundreds of portfolios as a Senior UX Lead at Domo, and I asked for his top tips for building a portfolio. Listen in and lea…
 
Visualization isn't always about revealing the patterns in our data. Sometimes it can be used to bring people together. This featured viz is a project by Amy Cesal and her now-husband Zander Furnas that they created for their wedding to connect their guests to them and each other. In this episode, we'll hear how this project was created, what they’…
 
Data Literacy is on everyone’s mind right now, but it always seemed like a nebulous topic to me. What is it exactly? How can you tell how literate you are? More importantly, how do you improve?! In this episode, we’ll learn why you need to assess yourself, no matter how literate you are, and how to identify the next step you need to take to improve…
 
Every day, events are happening and people are moving through time making decisions. How do we visualize that? How do we visualize that for hundreds of people in a way that still makes sense? Even more challenging, how do we humanize that visualization? In this episode, we’ll learn how Sahil Chinoy and Jessia Ma from the New York Times solved this …
 
Can we combine explanatory and exploratory data viz? That's just what Duncan Clark and his team over at Flourish are trying to accomplish by giving everyone the ability to create a "Talkie." In this episode, find out what it is and how to create an effective one. Bonus: Duncan shares the one thing that would impress him in a data viz portfolio! Sho…
 
Are you terrified of color? Me too! :) Sometimes there are just too many choices. So I’m going on a color diet! What's a color diet? Well, for me, it means to be more conscious about how I use color in my visualizations to make sure that I’m using color to solve a problem. In this episode, we’ll talk about how a color diet can improve your work, pl…
 
How can you add more information to your flow charts? Incorporate small multiples! In this episode, we learn about Chris DeMartini's data visualization that brings together small multiples and a flow chart (an NBA bracket) to add context to the flow. Find out how he created it, and how this technique can be applied elsewhere! Show Notes Chris DeMar…
 
I’ve been on a mission to improve my design abilities, and there are three design tweaks that I’ve found to be really effective in making my visualizations look more professional. In this episode, I share these three tips that pack a punch! Show notes Follow Data Viz Today on Twitter Join my weekly newsletter Resources page Courses…
 
Can you write your way to data viz success? It might be hard to see how writing could improve your visualizations but in this episode, I'll lay out 3 compelling reasons WHY you need to start writing today. Plus, I'll share easy 3 steps to get you started. This episode is inspired by the creative passion project Market Cafe Magazine that's created a…
 
What a year… I was honored to join Enrico Bertini and Moritz Stefaner on their Data Stories podcast along with Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic and Jon Schwabish to discuss our highlights from the year and what we hope to see in 2019. This is a re-broadcast of that amazing episode. I also added an intro with some thoughts on my 2019 data viz goals and ideas…
 
I recently caught wind of a forthcoming data viz book all about the craft of being a data storyteller called Info We Trust by RJ Andrews, and I wanted to know all about it! So I hopped on the phone with RJ and got the scoop on how he cleverly structures his days to be the most creative data storyteller and author that he can be, plus he shared his …
 
Have you ever pushed the boundaries of visualization? Did you receive any push-back? Do you want to experiment more with new chart types, but you’re not sure where to start or maybe you’re worried about people’s reactions? In this episode, we’ll hear how Richie Lionell created his thought-provoking data viz, how he handled criticism gracefully, and…
 
What should you do when you plot your data points and realize they're all on top of each other?? I recently learned that this is called "overplotting" and in this episode, I'll offer 3 techniques to help you handle this problem so you can get back to analyzing & visualizing! Show Notes Follow Data Viz Today on Twitter Check out my Adobe Illustrator…
 
When's the last time you saw a box plot? How about the last time you created one?! It's been a long time for me, but this week's featured data visualization by Eric William Lin has convinced me to reconsider using this often clinical chart type as a beautiful and powerful way to tell a story. In this episode, we'll hear how Eric built his Kantar II…
 
How can you consistently generate interesting visual story ideas from your data set? I’ve been on a quest to find a process for this, and I recently found guidance in a book for authors who are trying to get their non-fiction short stories published by editors. I used what I learned to create a worksheet that brings me from a basic stat to eight st…
 
How can you add interaction to make your story more impactful and memorable? In this episode, host Alli Torban explores specific interaction techniques that you can try in your visualizations to more effectively inform your reader. Featured data visualization project by Ludovic Tavernier perfectly shows how handing over the power to your reader can…
 
When is it beneficial to visualize your data in 3D? We know that people love the “cool” factor of 3D, but I think most people know to avoid it now. But in which cases could it be useful in understanding your data? In this episode, host Alli Torban explores the pros and cons of 3D viz. Featured data visualization project by Ryan Baumann shows a beau…
 
Do you ever have a client that's not sure what they need, and you also feel at a loss on how to visualize their goal in the most useful way? In this episode, I talk about how I'm bringing back my old Help Desk skills to break through that wall (or vizzer's block ;D) and dig up useful dashboard ideas. Show Notes Follow Data Viz Today on Twitter…
 
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